There’s a fascinating story behind Battle Born Beer and its vision to become Nevada’s state beer, so read on.
It all started years ago with Jeff Pickett convincing his LA branding agency employer that it would be a good idea for him to move to Reno. You could say it was a quality of life change that had a side benefit of skiing 50 days a year. Once introduced to Nevada’s unique, independent and authentic culture, Jeff never wanted to leave.
Knowing a thing or two about mainstream brands, Jeff saw a white space running through both the disruption in the craft beer saturated space and the cultural pride opportunity that exists in Nevada for a beer from State, much like Lone Star Beer is in Texas. Jeff decided to fill this space with an unpretentious, easy-drinking American lager with the independent, local craft appeal.
There was NEVER consideration for another name for his beer company other than Battle Born Beer. If the company was going to establish itself and be known as the beer of the state, what better name than the symbol on the state flag? It was Battle Born from day one.
The original plan was to create a joint venture with an existing brewery in Nevada. After all, Jeff and his partners were brand experts, not beer experts. Only there was one big problem. Nevada was not a mature market for breweries. Local beer volume in our state was only 2% compared to 11% nationally. Jeff tried to work with seven other breweries in the state and even a few in California to maintain supply. It was not a feasible business venture. Jeff decided to go all out and go into the beer business independently. The capital was raised, and he and his partners put their money where their mouths were. A state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot production facility was built. The brewery was launched at the end of October 2019.
What happened next was never foreseen by Battle Born Beer and other companies big and small. COVID-19 blow. He was now battening down the hatches to stay afloat. With mind, spirit and heart, Battle Born Beer has crossed it and is now ready to expand statewide and across Intermountain West.
Why did Battle Born Beer choose Reno as the best Nevada location for the company? Jeff lists many reasons. Great community, great people and business friendly. The most important is the water of our Sierra Nevada.
What’s “cool” about the company is that it trademarked the state motto, Battle Born, but knows it belongs to all Nevadans. They offer their facility for free to all nonprofits to use to raise money for vital programs such as the ALS Foundation, Nevada Humane Society, Native American Alumni, and others. Last August, Battle Born Beer helped raise $48,000 for Nevada athletics. For the past two years, the company has given away 12 packs to graduates of the University of Nevada, Reno, and they’re doing it again this year. Such a deal!
Battle Born Beer’s success is rooted in its perseverance and design. Big beer guys link key events. Budweiser with college football. Coors with the rodeo. So the company does what the big boys don’t. They support and sponsor the nonprofit Strengthen the Pack and have a strong presence in the tailgate area. Battle Born Beer focuses on smaller regional rodeos like the Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo. It’s David versus Goliath, but they’re willing to do what the big guys can’t or won’t do.
What is Battle Born Beer most proud of? His ability to adapt, his courage and his perseverance. During COVID, when restaurants and bars were forced to close, they offered the Battle Born Stimulus Package. Two packs of 12 for the price of one. They sold their beer right next to their wharf.
Battle Born Beer has its share of challenges. Supply chain issues are no joke. Grain price volatility is an important factor. Can suppliers increase the minimum order quantity from 200,000 to one million. Their biggest challenge is to raise consumer awareness and get consumers to change their habits from great lagers to a quality local alternative.
What question do people often ask Battle Born Beer? “Are you going to make an IPA?” Answer: No, never.
Bill Carter, writer and documentary filmmaker, once said that “there is no such thing as bad beer. It’s just that some taste better than others. There’s no doubt that Reno-based Battle Born Beer belongs in the “better tasting” category.
NCET Tech Wednesday June 8th is the opportunity to learn more about Battle Born Beer.
Register early for Battle Born Beer’s on-site introductory tour of their production facility from 4-5 p.m. and networking from 3-4 p.m. More information on https://www.ncet.org/ncet-event-calendar/ncet-tech-wed-battle-born-beer .
Bill Leonard is Vice President of Communications for NCET and a freelance content writer of lead-generating case studies, brand and success stories, white papers, and results-driven web copy. Connect with Bill at linkedin.com/in/billleonardusa. NCET produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.